September 2nd, 2011

Seven Money-Saving Tips for Shooters

Let’s face it — economic times are still tough, so it’s important to save money whenever possible. Prices are going up, but wages aren’t following (for most of us). Here are seven ways shooters can save money on gear purchases and other shooting-related expenses.

1. Share a Ride to Matches. With gas costing close to $4.00 per gallon in many areas of the country, fuel has become a significant part of an active shooter’s hobby budget. Yet over 90% of shooters drive solo to matches, often in large, gas-guzzling trucks. If you drive 100 miles roundtrip to attend a match in a 20-mpg vehicle, you’re going to burn nearly $20.00 worth of gas total out and back. By simply sharing the ride with one fellow shooter you can cut your fuel expenditures in half.

2. Use Discount Codes to Save. It’s always smart to check for discount codes before you buy. In the Daily Bulletin, we regularly highlight important sales, and we provide discount Coupon Codes when available. By using discount codes when shopping online, you can typically save 10-15% on your purchases. For example, right now Sinclair Int’l is running a Labor Day Promo with discount codes. To find recent discount codes, just type in “Coupon Code” or “Discount” in the search box at the top of this page. If you can’t find a Coupon Code for your preferred vendor here, visit and/or Both those sites list current coupon codes, and covers thousands of vendors.

3. Gang Powder and Primer Purchases. Every time you order powder and primers you’ll need to pay a hazardous materials (hazmat) transport fee, which costs $25.00 – $30.00. If you do a joint buy with other shooters, you can ship more powder and primers on a single hazmat fee, effectively reducing your components cost. For example, if you buy 3 pounds of powder at $20/lb with a $25.00 hazmat fee your actual cost (before shipping) is $28.33 per pound. If instead if you buy 30 pounds of powder at $20.00/lb, the actual cost with hazmat is just $20.83 per pound. Moreover, when you buy in bulk, you can usually save significantly on the powder itself. At Powder Valley, one pound of Varget costs $19.75, while an 8-lb jug of Varget costs $139.50 ($17.44/lb).

4. Shop for “Demo” Optics. Modern high-quality optics can easily cost $1500.00 or more, often exceeding the value of the rifle on which they are mounted. However, you can often save 20-30% by purchasing demo optics. These are normally display units used at trade shows. They may have slight ringmarks, but otherwise they are “as new”, having never been carried in the field or used on a rifle that has fired live ammo. When purchasing demo scopes, you should always ask about the warranty before consummating the sale. However, most demo scopes from name-brand manufacturers come with full factory warranties. and are two respected vendors that offer a good selection of demo optics.

5. Train with Rimfire Rifles. The true cost of shooting a match-grade centerfire rifle, when you consider barrel wear, approaches $1.00 per round. READ Shooting Cost Article. By contrast .22LR Wolf Match Extra costs just $0.17 per round and other good rimfire ammo can be purchased for even less. Good rimfire barrels last a long, long time, so you don’t have to be concerned about wearing out your barrel quickly. A quality rimfire barrel can retain its accuracy for 7,000 rounds or more. If you run the ballistics, a .22LR round at 100 yards can emulate the wind drift experienced by a centerfire cartridge at long range. This allows for effective cross-training with much less expensive ammo.

6. Check Out the Forum Classifieds. There are great deals to be found every day in the AccurateShooter Shooters’ Forum. The latest deals are listed on our home page. To see all the listings, browse through the Forum MarketPlace section which has four main categories:

  • Guns, Actions, Stocks, & Barrels
  • Tools, Dies, Rests, Reloading Components & Misc
  • Scopes, Optics, Sights, Rings, Bases Etc.
  • Commercial Sales by Paid Sponsors

You can find some great deals on complete rifles, optics, and reloading gear in our classifieds. Before purchasing, however, read our Advice to Online Classifieds Shoppers.

7. Take Advantage of Factory Rebates. There are some amazing rebates available right now from quality manufacturers such as Bushnell, Leupold, RCBS, Sightron, and Zeiss. You have to be a bit wary because rebates are typically used to move less-popular merchandise. But some rebates, such as the current RCBS $50.00 rebate, apply to very wide range of merchandise, so it’s hard to go wrong. Just make sure that, when you buy a product, you retain the sales slip and the original packaging. To qualify for the rebate, you may need to mail in a product identification code found on the box, along with your original sales receipt.

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